Microsoft rebranded its AI-driven Bing Chat within its Bing search engine to Microsoft Copilot earlier this year. This integration of a ChatGPT-like interface directly into search results has now transitioned to the new Copilot identity across platforms like Bing, Microsoft Edge, and Windows 11 in less than a year.
Initially focusing on competing with Google in the AI sector, Microsoft now appears to have shifted its attention towards rivaling ChatGPT. The decision to rename Bing Chat to Copilot comes shortly after OpenAI revealed that 100 million users engage with ChatGPT weekly. Despite a significant partnership between Microsoft and OpenAI, both companies compete for the same AI assistant market. Microsoft aims to position Copilot as the go-to choice for consumers and businesses.
Colette Stallbaumer, Microsoft 365’s general manager, clarified that Bing Chat and Bing Chat Enterprise will now be referred to simply as Copilot. This official change follows Microsoft’s earlier decision to adopt Copilot as the branding for its chatbot in Windows 11. The shift away from the Bing Chat branding signifies a more consolidated Copilot experience, accessible through copilot.microsoft.com, akin to ChatGPT.
Microsoft promotes Copilot as the no-cost AI chatbot option, with a premium version, Copilot for Microsoft 365 (formerly Microsoft 365 Copilot), available for a fee. The free Copilot service remains accessible via Bing and Windows, along with its dedicated domain. Business users will log into Microsoft Copilot with an Entra ID, while consumers will need a Microsoft Account. Currently, Microsoft Copilot is officially supported on Microsoft Edge or Chrome, and on Windows or macOS.
Initially introduced as an “AI-powered copilot for the web,” Bing Chat has now evolved into the standalone Copilot experience, distancing itself from relying solely on Bing. Although Bing continues to contribute to Copilot’s functionality, Microsoft emphasizes that Bing remains a prominent technology in many Copilot experiences and remains a leader in the search industry.
Earlier this year, Microsoft highlighted Bing as the foundation for its AI search efforts despite internal discussions about considering a new brand like Microsoft Copilot. The decision to retain Bing was based on its neutral perception among users, its recognition value estimated at around $200 million, and its global appeal. However, Copilot’s transition indicates a shift away from Bing being the primary gateway for Microsoft’s AI ambitions.
While Microsoft aimed to challenge Google’s dominance in search with its AI initiatives, it remains unclear if these efforts have significantly impacted the market. Despite Microsoft’s ambition to compete with Google’s AI integration into search results, Google maintains over 91 percent market share, as reported by StatCounter nearly 10 months after the Bing Chat launch.